Every now and again we hear complaints from users of LinkedIn that it doesn’t work and that they are not getting results, but is this down to certain limitations of the site or is it that these people are just not using it to their best advantage?
With more than 45 million professionals in 200 countries and from 170 different industries registered on LinkedIn now, the site does actually represent a superb tool which offers loads of great potential. The contacts are certainly there, as is the technology, so perhaps we do have to deduce that these individuals are simply not making the most of it. Here, therefore, are a few simple tips which I hope will help.
1. Pay attention to your profile
Your profile summary is your chance to showcase your achievements and demonstrate your skills and expertise. Make sure that yours gives the best possible account of the value that you can add to potential employers.
2. Make connections
That might sound like a really obvious thing to say, but very often when people complain about the effectiveness of LinkedIn, they have done little more than post their profile and waited for others to come to them. You have to be proactive and seek a route to your target contacts and you need a reasonable number of connections (most will say around 200) to get good results.
Again, this might sound pretty obvious, but it is no good just adding connections and then not communicating with your contacts. Remember, networking is about building relationships, and that requires regular communication.
4. Use the LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn’s groups are a great way to make connections and they allow you to take part in discussion forums and ask and answer questions which relate to your area of interest, so demonstrating your expertise in your field. There is a restriction to the number of groups that you can join, but having said that the limit is 50…way more than any individual could actively participate in.
5. Make time for networking
Becoming a member and adding new contacts will not achieve much if you only log on for five minutes once per week. The more time you are prepared to spend (within reason), the more you are likely to get back from the experience, so try to devote an hour a day to communicating with your current contacts and building your network.